(National Sentinel) National Security: The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have compiled data on federal arrests for alleged, actual or attempted acts of terrorism within the United States and found a shocking statistic.
Between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2016, 73 percent of of terrorist offenders were foreign-born, a new report notes.
Of the 549 people convicted of international terrorism-related charges between Sept. 11, 2001 and and the end of last year, 402, or three-of-four, were not born in the United States.
Many came from terrorist-infested or terrorism-sponsoring countries, some of which included countries contained in President Donald J. Trump’s travel bans that were blocked by federal courts.
“Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States,” the report says.
The report was mandated by Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” and directed a series of actions to enhance the security of the American people.
“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country,” she continued.
She said legislation is needed to correct current vetting and immigration deficiencies or “DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also sounded an alarm bell.
“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” he said.
“And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees,” Sessions added.
“Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds.”
He also praised Trump’s immigration priorities of “securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation’s laws.”
The report also noted that from October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses).
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